More than 1,000 people were on hand for Sunday dinner at the Baltimore Convention Center and to applaud 203 mid-Atlantic area children as they each received $1,000 college scholarships for academic and humanitarian excellence at the Carson Scholars Fund Awards Banquet.
Proud papa Salim Khatib of Roland Park presided over supper with his three Carson Scholars -- daughters Alwafaa, 16; Asmaa, 12; and Bushraa, 12.
Tia Fletcher, a 14-year-old Baltimorean, received the Vicki Rosen Memorial Award for her compassion toward others. As she was handed her $500 check, her mother Antoinette Walker announced, "That's going in your college fund."
The first Sonya Carson Award was presented to the woman who inspired it, the mother of famed Johns Hopkins Hospital pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson, for her diligence in getting her two sons to improve their grades and strive for excellence when they were boys.
The event's attendees helped raise $75,000 for the scholars fund. They included: Dr. Ben and Candy Carson, Carson Scholars Fund president and executive secretary; their sons Murray, 16; B.J., 14; and Rhoeyce, 13; Debbie Bangledorf, Carson Scholars Fund executive director; Vic Broccolino, Toba Barth, Belita Heron, Lee Warner, Dan Wagner and Carol James, board members; Dr. Robert Booker, Baltimore City School System CEO; Ron Peterson, president of Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System; Randall Nixon, president of Nixon's Farm; Patti Norton, operations director of the Warner Cos.; and Lorraine Jackson, BGE educational services coordinator.